DERA GHAZI KHAN:
Crimes against residents of Dera Ghazi Khan during their visits to Balochistan have become routine; a kidnapping-for-ransom, a car snatching and three murders have been reported over the last two weeks.
The kidnappers of Ghulam Yaseen, an oil trader abducted from Balochistan two weeks ago, have contacted his family and demanded Rs50 million in ransom. Yaseen’s brother, Haji Yameen, told The Tribune that the kidnappers had called him and told him that he could pick his brother from Naharkot area in Barkhan district after payment of ransom. He said he had not contacted the police or the administration out of fear that the kidnappers might harm his brother. He added that Yaseen had been a frequent visitor to Balochistan. He said that his brother had been active in politics and was associated with the Leghari clan but rejected the suggestion that policial rivalry could be a factor in the kidnapping.
In two incidents last week, three DG Khan residents were killed by unidentified men during a visit to Kingri tehsil in Musakhel district on Wednesday and a trader deprived of his car on August 20. The bodies of the three killed in Kingri were found by BMP and handed over to their families in Samina union council in DG Khan. Oil trader Muhammad alias Jani was held for a day by unidentified men before he was dumped on a roadside the next day and his Toyota Hilux snatched. He has received a phone call by the men asking him to pay Rs300,000 to get the Hilux back.
Dera Ghazi Khan district police officer, Muhammad Tassaduq Hayat Awan, told The Express Tribune that the chief secretaries and the police heads of the Punjab and Balochistan have already taken notice of the matter. He says the inspector general of Balochistan police, Rao Muhammad Ameen Hashim, has told his Punjab counterpart that officials of the Balochistan levies and Border Military Police have been directed to carry out raids in Barkhan district to recover the kidnapped trader, Ghulam Yaseen, and arrest his kidnappers.
DPO Awan said they had no jurisdiction in Balochistan. “We can’t stop people from travelling to Balochistan. If they are kidnapped, it is the responsibility of the Balochistan police to take action against the kidnappers,” he said. He, however, admitted that crimes against Punjab’s resident in Balochistan were a cause for concern that said consultation was needed to form a joint strategy in this regard. He said following the kidnapping of Ghulam Yaseen, the authorities of the two provinces had held several discussions and hoped that some headway would be made in evolving a joint strategy to protect residents of other provinces during their stay in Balochistan.
MNA Sardar Jaffar Leghari said that over 50 DG Khan residents had so far been kidnapped during their visits to Balochistan. He said the kidnappers enjoyed support of influential people. He said police from the two provinces needed to conduct a joint operation.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 26th, 2011.